News Flash

Home

Posted on: April 19, 2022

Regulation of Leaf Blower Use

NEWS (1)

An ordinance limiting and regulating the use of leaf blowers.

A summary of the newly passed ordinance appears below. You can view the full ordinance here.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED ORDINANCE #2022-06
A Ordinance of The Township of South Orange Village In Essex County, New Jersey To Create Chapter 187 Of The Code To Calm, Limit And Regulate The Use Of Leaf Blowers 

  • Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
    The use of gas-powered Leaf Blowers will be prohibited from May 1st through September 30th of each year beginning in 2023. This year, in 2022, the prohibition begins on May 15th.
  • All Leaf Blower use (gas and electric) will be restricted to specific times throughout the year. The use of any Leaf Blower by any person or entity is permitted only as follows:
    Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. -  6:00 p.m.
    Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 a.m. -  4:00 p.m.
  • All Leaf Blowers shall meet applicable United States Environmental Protection Agency and State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection standards.
  • In the event of a weather emergency or other emergent circumstances, the Village Administrator, or his or her designee, shall be permitted to modify the restrictions of this Chapter for residents and commercial Leaf Blower operators.

Violations and Penalties
The first Summer (2022) will represent a grace period where a warning will be given rather than a fine. Standard fine system would begin in 2023.

 Any homeowner, property owner, homeowners association, managing agent or other such managing entity, landscaper, commercial entity and/or individual operator who violates, or allows any other to violate this law, will be subject to fines as follows:

Violations occurring on or before December 31, 2022:
1) First Offense Warning
2) Second Offense $500.00
3) For a third or subsequent offense $1,000.00, and the violator will be subject to prohibition to operate a Leaf Blower within the Village of South Orange.

Violations occurring on or after January 1, 2023:
1) First Offense $500.00
2) Second Offense $1,000.00
3) For a third or subsequent offense $1,000.00, and the violator will be subject to prohibition to operate a Leaf Blower within the Village of South Orange.

____________________________________________
FAQs: SOUTH ORANGE VILLAGE LEAF BLOWER ORDINANCE :

When are gas-powered leaf blowers NOT allowed?

Whether you are a resident or a landscaper, you may not use gas-powered leaf blowers at any time from May 1st – September 30th. These times and dates are aligned with Maplewood’s ordinance to help avoid confusion.

I’m a resident.  When can I use my leaf blower?

October 1st – April 30th.  
 Monday – Friday  8:00 am – 6:00 pm
 Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
 Never on a national holiday. These times and dates are aligned with Maplewood’s ordinance to help avoid confusion.

I’m a landscaper.  When can I use my leaf blower?

October 1st – April 30th.  
 Monday – Friday  8:00 am – 6:00 pm
 Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  
 Never on a national holiday. These times and dates are aligned with Maplewood’s ordinance to help avoid confusion.

I have an electric blower. Is that okay to use during the restricted period of May 1st – September 30th?

Yes, while gas leaf blowers are prohibited through those dates, you may use your electric leaf blower during the approved times of Monday – Friday  8:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. 

We’re having some construction done. Okay to blow the dust with the leaf blower?  

No.  Neither residential nor commercial leaf blowers, gas or electric, can be used to remove construction dust, dry soil, or to move large piles of material. 

Why are leaf blowers only allowed during a restricted time?

The restricted time coincides with the time leaves fall from the trees.  In the summer, there are no falling leaves.  In the summer, there are no leaves to blow. These times and dates are also aligned with Maplewood’s ordinance to help avoid confusion. 

If my hired landscaper uses a leaf blower during the restricted time, who pays the fine?  

Any homeowner, property owner, homeowners association, managing agent or other such managing entity, landscaper, commercial entity and/or individual operator who violates, or allows any other to violate, the provisions of this Chapter may be subject to fines as follows:

How much are the fines?

2022:

  1. First Offense Warning Letter
  2. Second Offense $500.00
  3. For a third or subsequent offense $1,000 and the violator will be subject to prohibition to operate a leaf blower within the Village of South Orange.

2023 and beyond:

  1. First Offense $500.00
  2. Second Offense $1,000.00
  3. For a third or subsequent offense $1,000 and the violator will be subject to prohibition to operate a leaf blower within the Village of South Orange.

How did the village arrive upon the fine amounts?

The 2023 and beyond fines are both consistent with the fines in Maplewood’s ordinance and consistent with the fines listed in NJS4723.
 “Any person who violates the bill’s provisions would be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.”

What about leaf blowing in our parks? I’m here to enjoy fresh air and peace of mind!

Great questions. Last year, South Orange eliminated the use of leaf blowers in Founders Park and, instead, mulched the leaves in place. This year, that program was expanded to limit blowing in Meadowland Park and Farrell Field Park as much as possible. We’ve already vastly reduced the blowing in our public spaces. 

Is the Department of Public Works exempt from this ordinance?

No, they are not exempt. Unless there’s a major emergency or other justifiable reason which would need to be approved by the Village Administrator, the DPW must adhere to the same rules as everyone else. The DPW is looking into replacing their gas blowers with electric ones possibly as soon as this spring. They’re looking to lead us away from gas-powered leaf blowers by example.

What’s going on to restrict the use of leaf blowers across the country and on a state level?

If you look geographically around South Orange, you’ll see that curtailing leaf blower use is the rising trend.  Montclair and Summit have prohibitive gas-powered leaf blower ordinances.  Millburn and West Orange have proposed ordinances in progress. In Roseland they’ve passed an ordinance limiting the use of “any noise-creating landscaping equipment, including, but not limited to leaf blowers, lawn mowers, weed-whackers, hedge trimmers, etc.”  Our sister town of Maplewood unanimously passed a restriction on gas-powered leaf blowers in 2017.  With the same landscapers covering much of this range, they’ve already begun phasing out gas-power.  Further incentive for this is on the floor of the NJ Senate in the form of bill NJS4273 that, if passed, would immediately prohibit the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and then within one year of its passing, all use of such devices.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

2021 Water Quality Report

NJAW Consumer Confidence Report (CCR)

Posted on: August 12, 2022
ADVISORY (1)

Monkeypox - What You Need To Know

Posted on: August 10, 2022
Free Mulch

FREE MULCH

Posted on: August 11, 2022
WATER

DROUGHT NOTICE - Every Drop Counts

Posted on: August 9, 2022
REPORT (1)

Spotted Lanternfly

Posted on: July 25, 2022
Website_Icons_320x320_colored_V1-03 (1)

Poison Hemlock Alert

Posted on: July 6, 2022
REPORT (1)

Cameron Recreation Area - Plans

Posted on: June 26, 2022
CONNECT (1)

Late Night Mondays

Posted on: June 7, 2022
MESSAGE (1)

Indoor Mask Mandate Lifted

Posted on: February 1, 2022
ADVISORY (1)

Coronavirus - What You Need To Know

Posted on: March 9, 2020